Formers players as coaches



  • observation from the weekend

    vision of the various coach's boxes were just absolutely stacked with the ghosts of failed world cups past.



  • @mariner4life said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    observation from the weekend

    vision of the various coach's boxes were just absolutely stacked with the ghosts of failed world cups past.

    Always likely to happen when you spend 24 years waiting for a chance...



  • @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @mariner4life said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    observation from the weekend

    vision of the various coach's boxes were just absolutely stacked with the ghosts of failed world cups past.

    Always likely to happen when you spend 24 years waiting for a chance...

    but does every box have to be filled with ex-AB players? every one?



  • @mariner4life It's a conversation that's been had before, but the path for professional rugby coaches to graduate from the amateur ranks (without having played professional rugby) seems to me to be increasingly narrow.

    Someone like Leon, who's been a professional rugby player for 15 years - spent those 15 years living and breathing rugby and learning all about it - is going to have a pretty significant technical advantage over someone who's working a regular day job and coaching in their spare time - especially if they're smart.

    Not saying it can't be done the other way, but it doesn't surprise me to see the ranks chock full of former pros.



  • @mariner4life said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    observation from the weekend

    vision of the various coach's boxes were just absolutely stacked with the ghosts of failed world cups past.

    The class of 2011 hasn't quite made its way through the coaching ranks just yet (many of them are still playing!)



  • @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @mariner4life It's a conversation that's been had before, but the path for professional rugby coaches to graduate from the amateur ranks (without having played professional rugby) seems to me to be increasingly narrow.

    Someone like Leon, who's been a professional rugby player for 15 years - spent those 15 years living and breathing rugby and learning all about it - is going to have a pretty significant technical advantage over someone who's working a regular day job and coaching in their spare time - especially if they're smart.

    Not saying it can't be done the other way, but it doesn't surprise me to see the ranks chock full of former pros.

    Not only that, but he's far more likely to get a rookie coaching gig within a pro organisation (particularly one he's previously represented) than someone coming straight out of the amateurs



  • @junior I think it 'looks better' for sponsors too saying we have ex-AB so and so coaching as opposed to Joe Bloggs, worked his way through the ranks and now ready to step up.



  • @taniwharugby said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @junior I think it 'looks better' for sponsors too saying we have ex-AB so and so coaching as opposed to Joe Bloggs, worked his way through the ranks and now ready to step up.

    And yet our two most successful coaches of recent times never played provincial rugby let alone for the ABs (Ted and Shag), we have successful Super coaches in recent times (Boyd, Rennie) that didn't either. There must be a place for dedicated grassroots developed coaches, but it is definitely getting harder and harder



  • @canefan said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    And yet our two most successful coaches of recent times never played provincial rugby let alone for the ABs (Ted and Shag), we have successful Super coaches in recent times (Boyd, Rennie) that didn't either. There must be a place for dedicated grassroots developed coaches, but it is definitely getting harder and harder

    Hansen played for Canterbury and Rennie played for Wellington



  • @Duluth said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @canefan said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    And yet our two most successful coaches of recent times never played provincial rugby let alone for the ABs (Ted and Shag), we have successful Super coaches in recent times (Boyd, Rennie) that didn't either. There must be a place for dedicated grassroots developed coaches, but it is definitely getting harder and harder

    Hansen played for Canterbury and Rennie played for Wellington

    Poor research. My bad. But neither played for the ABs, probably the point I should have made



  • @canefan said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    There must be a place for dedicated grassroots developed coaches

    Agree, there is a pathway there, they need to ensure they dont promote/fast track some coaches to a role purely because they are ex-ABs...there have been a few



  • @junior said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @mariner4life It's a conversation that's been had before, but the path for professional rugby coaches to graduate from the amateur ranks (without having played professional rugby) seems to me to be increasingly narrow.

    Someone like Leon, who's been a professional rugby player for 15 years - spent those 15 years living and breathing rugby and learning all about it - is going to have a pretty significant technical advantage over someone who's working a regular day job and coaching in their spare time - especially if they're smart.

    Not saying it can't be done the other way, but it doesn't surprise me to see the ranks chock full of former pros.

    Not only that, but he's far more likely to get a rookie coaching gig within a pro organisation (particularly one he's previously represented) than someone coming straight out of the amateurs

    Yeah - the former players have likely advantages of being linked into the old boys network, name recognition, contacts, etc. E.g. it would be interesting to know how the signing of Danny Boy came about. A reasonable chance that he was just having a beer with his old mate Leon....

    But, it's the actual technical advantages that are most interesting to me. Someone Like Leon's spent years being coached by some of the best coaches in the world and seeing how they work - doing all the drills. I guess an outsider can pay for themselves to do IRANZ coaching courses and suchlike, but it would seem quite difficult to match the pro player experience (of someone who is smart and planning a coaching career) - even before you start looking at the other advantages of being a name.



  • @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @junior said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @mariner4life It's a conversation that's been had before, but the path for professional rugby coaches to graduate from the amateur ranks (without having played professional rugby) seems to me to be increasingly narrow.

    Someone like Leon, who's been a professional rugby player for 15 years - spent those 15 years living and breathing rugby and learning all about it - is going to have a pretty significant technical advantage over someone who's working a regular day job and coaching in their spare time - especially if they're smart.

    Not saying it can't be done the other way, but it doesn't surprise me to see the ranks chock full of former pros.

    Not only that, but he's far more likely to get a rookie coaching gig within a pro organisation (particularly one he's previously represented) than someone coming straight out of the amateurs

    Yeah - the former players have likely advantages of being linked into the old boys network, name recognition, contacts, etc. E.g. it would be interesting to know how the signing of Danny Boy came about. A reasonable chance that he was just having a beer with his old mate Leon....

    But, it's the actual technical advantages that are most interesting to me. Someone Like Leon's spent years being coached by some of the best coaches in the world and seeing how they work - doing all the drills. I guess an outsider can pay for themselves to do IRANZ coaching courses and suchlike, but it would seem quite difficult to match the pro player experience (of someone who is smart and planning a coaching career) - even before you start looking at the other advantages of being a name.

    On the flip side, many top players don't make great coaches because the game maybe came too easily for them? They seem to find it hard to transfer their knowledge to the team. Or they are simply farken useless, like this guy

    alt text



  • https://frontrowclub.co.nz/wp/?page_id=2

    The "On a journey" article in the link gives part of the story of how Jason Ryan broke in from the outside.

    Edit: Thanks Duluth - not sure how I managed to put that in the wrong thread!



  • @canefan said in Formers players as coaches:

    @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @junior said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @Chris-B said in Aotearoa SR Round One:

    @mariner4life It's a conversation that's been had before, but the path for professional rugby coaches to graduate from the amateur ranks (without having played professional rugby) seems to me to be increasingly narrow.

    Someone like Leon, who's been a professional rugby player for 15 years - spent those 15 years living and breathing rugby and learning all about it - is going to have a pretty significant technical advantage over someone who's working a regular day job and coaching in their spare time - especially if they're smart.

    Not saying it can't be done the other way, but it doesn't surprise me to see the ranks chock full of former pros.

    Not only that, but he's far more likely to get a rookie coaching gig within a pro organisation (particularly one he's previously represented) than someone coming straight out of the amateurs

    Yeah - the former players have likely advantages of being linked into the old boys network, name recognition, contacts, etc. E.g. it would be interesting to know how the signing of Danny Boy came about. A reasonable chance that he was just having a beer with his old mate Leon....

    But, it's the actual technical advantages that are most interesting to me. Someone Like Leon's spent years being coached by some of the best coaches in the world and seeing how they work - doing all the drills. I guess an outsider can pay for themselves to do IRANZ coaching courses and suchlike, but it would seem quite difficult to match the pro player experience (of someone who is smart and planning a coaching career) - even before you start looking at the other advantages of being a name.

    On the flip side, many top players don't make great coaches because the game maybe came too easily for them? They seem to find it hard to transfer their knowledge to the team. Or they are simply farken useless, like this guy

    alt text

    Why do I look at that photo and want to caption it with "LOL, they've given me another team to fuck with"



  • While former players can bring more experience on how players work and experience teachings, along with ideas they have gleaned during their careers, the career coaches usually bring a bit more man management .
    Finding a good balance, or an ex player with strong management skills is the best balance.
    Often it takes a while for ex-players to find where their skills lie best. Look at Moonhead and Tana. Cop lots of shit as head coaches but are pretty bloody good defence coaches and strategists.



  • @canefan That guy's forwards went alright at the weekend against those of the man who'd just been voted the greatest rugby coach of all time. 🙂

    But leaving that aside, there's certainly some truth in what you say about top players, though I wonder whether that is changing as rugby professionalism becomes more mature. Less fast tracking of ex-players.

    e.g. Hammer's only two years older than Razor, but it's nearly 10 years since he got the Hurricanes gig.



  • obvious preface that this is pure speculation but

    it appears that, in elite sports, technical ability isn't actually all that important to a Head Coach. There are that many assistants now, you can delegate the detail to someone who only looks at that. Head coaches are about overall strategy, decision making, and man management.

    It's why a great assistant is no guarantee to be a great head coach, and why a terrible head coach can be a very good assistant.



  • @mariner4life Doubtless some truth in that - but, the trick is - how do you get your foot in the door as a brilliant Head Coach if you don't have the technical chops to be a success as an Assistant?

    It's probably the biggest obstacle any top flight grassroots coaches - how to get that initial foot in the door of a pro organization.



  • @Chris-B think it applies in the real world too though, some are meant to lead, others better as a 2IC.



  • Some of these assistant coaches started coaching club rugby so haven't necessarily been fast-tracked because they have former AB on their CV. Others, not so much.



  • @taniwharugby said in Formers players as coaches:

    @Chris-B think it applies in the real world too though, some are meant to lead, others better as a 2IC.

    Yeah - probably a lot of great leaders who get winnowed out by their shit technical skills - and a lot of shit leaders who get promoted on the back of being great technicians (or brilliant corporate snipers)! 🙂



  • @Chris-B said in Formers players as coaches:

    That guy's forwards went alright

    "Alright" is generous. Unless you're including set piece.



  • @junior said in Formers players as coaches:

    Not only that, but he's far more likely to get a rookie coaching gig within a pro organisation (particularly one he's previously represented) than someone coming straight out of the amateurs

    That is more it. There has absolutely been a bias towards ex-All Blacks progressing in the NZ system at Super Rugby level and for the high performance teams - just look at the difference in the run Robertson got vs Penny with similar ITM Cup records and countless other examples. Would Milton Haig have cakewalked into a job like SJK did? Unlikely.

    Rennie, Boyd and Plumtree all had to take the long way around to even get a sniff of a head coaching role. Cotter has applied for two Super roles unsuccessfully despite a stellar record.

    I guess Rassie has blown a hole in this but outside of him and Wayne Smith (who as a head coach hardly had a stellar record) & Underwood are there any ex-players with a tenured international career that have been prominent in the pro-era? Mostly provincial journeymen who slipped in a few rep caps. The template seems to be obvious yet we persist with ex-ABs.



  • @rotated It's probably an error to think that there's any real template for success. It's more about the individual. Measuring success by winning World Cups, every one of our pro era Head Coaches had a failure - Henry and Hansen also won one.

    After 2011, we've been sold a continuity template - and there's plenty to be said for not throwing the baby out with the bathwater - but, you still need to look at the individual. Continuity didn't work in 2019 and my jury at least is far from convinced about Fozzie.

    Perhaps another point that shouldn't be missed is that the ex-players who are coming through now are sort of a second generation of pro player coaches. Guys who spent most of their professional playing careers in proper professional environments.

    So I'd differentiate them from e.g. someone like Jeff Wilson who tinkered a bit, and a bit unsuccessfully, with coaching - but played 1992-2002, but even in his pro-era playing days was probably in environments where mainly the coaches were still feeling their way and learning what pro coaching was all about.

    Edit: Clive Woodward can be added to Rassie.


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